Yesterday, my pal Laura and I spent five afternoon hours enjoying pitchers of whatever Hacker-Pschorr brew Pippen's Tavern was purveying.
Although the ale was sublime ("Like a lemonade sleigh ride!") and the laughs were aplenty, an afternoon spent barring constituted an evening of napping, which means I am conveniently awake just as my friends are pouring themselves freshly into bed and the sunrise is stuck in traffic somewhere outside of Prague. Like most nights when sleep won't come, I'm lying in bed absentmindedly peeling paint off the wall behind my headboard while my mind contrives irrelevant "top-five" lists. Tonight's list:
My Top 5 Most Memorable Accidents In Transit
5. The Transatlantic Shart
In the summer following 11th grade my English class took an 18-day tour through Europe. The trip was a blasty and went off without a hitch. Sorry to say, the flight home did not. A few of us were playing cards across a row of seats when, out of the blue, my stomach lava-lamped. When the bubble rose in my stomach, something else dropped into my shorts. At that moment I would have happily traded my passport for a spare pair of untainted knickers, no questions asked. Needless to say, I'll never again travel without a fresh pair of Fruit of the Looms in my carryon.
4. Hail to the Pukers
During college, some buddies and I road-tripped to the University of Michigan to visit a high school friend. We arrived late on a Friday night which caused our usually drawn-out pregame festivities to be packed into a very short window of time. Afterward, as we boarded the campus bus toward our party destination, I could tell something wasn't sitting right. Sure enough, I was hanging out the backdoor gifting passersby with a secondhand six-pack of Keystone Light within minutes. In a lame attempt to save face, I called out, "It's because I forgot to take my pills!"
3. Almost Lamous
On the same road trip to U of M, a few of my friends and I stupidly decided to have a couple of drinks in the car so we'd be fresh to party as soon as we arrived. One unnamed friend crossed the "couple of drinks" threshold rather quickly and was doubled over in the bushes of a rest area an hour outside of Ann Arbor. When we finally arrived, he was sleeping soundly in the backseat. Reluctant to disturb his slumber, we left him in the car while we started the festivities.
2. Caught Brown-Undied
Myself, the five other members of my immediate family and two of my Florida cousins were headed home from a family reunion in Illinois a little over a decade ago when a smell wafted forward from the back row of seats that was entirely too human to blame on the cows outside. Naturally, my siblings and I blamed Cousin Monica, the youngest rider. Although she wouldn’t admit to it at first, we badgered her until we got a confession. When we arrived home nearly two hours later, however, we apologetically pardoned Cousin Monica upon finding evidence of the crime in my little brother Bryan's underwear. Since then, my family no longer bothers with the "It wasn't me" game on long car trips because Bryan is always guilty by default.
1. Subway Spew
To celebrate our newfound roommateship, Sonny, Chris and I hauled our fake IDs to the Lower East Side for a cocktail on the evening before college orientation. Like magic, one drink morphed into seventeen and before we knew it we were ingesting Dunkin' Donuts minutes before 9:00am as we scrambled toward campus. To this day I'm uncertain whether it was because he had consumed a trough of Bud Light only hours before or if he was stricken with a rare case of donut food poisoning, but I'll never forget the look on Sonny's face as he expelled a freshly consumed French Cruller all over the Uptown-bound A-C train. Thinking quickly, I borrowed the "Fuck New Jersey" section of The New York Times from a grossed out Wall Streeter and used it to hide Sonny's breakfast. To relax the puzzled riders, I explained that my friend was very nervous for his first day of school.